The manganites are pseudo-cubic oxides of manganese that show extremes of functional behavior. Diverse magnetic and electronic phases coexist on a wide range of length scales even within single crystals. This coexistence demonstrates a complexity that inspires ever deeper study. Yet even the basic nature of the coexisting phases remains controversial. Can the ferromagnetic metallic phase provide fully spin-polarized electrons for spin electronics? Does the superlattice in the highly insulating phase represent charge order? Here we highlight recent results that demonstrate a coexistence of opinions about a field in rude health.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70242-0